Mario Kart 8 coming in May and Nintendo reveals 2014 strategy

The Wii U won't get a price cut, the GamePad is here to stay, and Nintendo is working on non-wearable tech to improve your quality of life.

Earlier today, several Nintendo executives took voluntary pay cuts including CEO Satoru Iwata taking a 50% reduction, but that was just preparation for the company's overarching 2014 plans. To further address the company’s financials and future, Nintendo held a strategy briefing today in Osaka.

Here’s the short version:

  • Mario Kart 8 is coming in May
  • Price cut on Wii U isn’t an option.
  • Nintendo is focusing on the GamePad – it’s not going to be removed from the Wii U.
  • Nintendo will license its characters to other companies (but their franchises are still not coming to non-Nintendo platforms)
  • The Nintendo Network ID will expand to smartphones, but Nintendo games aren’t going mobile
  • Nintendo DS virtual console will be coming to Wii U
  • Non-wearable health monitoring systems are in the works to improve quality of life.

Here’s the more in-depth version.

From a liveblog of the meeting on the Wall Street Journal, Iwata said “he’s not pessimistic about the game console outlook. And there is no change to game console being the center of its strategy. He insists the company will not be abandoning its hardware business.”

Research analyst David Gibson also shared updates from the meeting via Twitter. He wrote that Nintendo will put an increased focus on the Wii U GamePad. Gibson wrote, “GamePad profile to be increased…fast start up of Gamepad designed so can play without TV quickly.” He also wrote that consumers don’t understand the GamePad; they still think of it as a Wii peripheral. However, a price cut is not an option.”

Mario Kart 8 will be releasing in May, but according to the WSJ, Iwata said, “This won’t be just a one-off boost in momentum.” This was not further clarified.

Regarding smartphones and tablets, Gibson wrote, “It doesn't make sense for us not to do business in smart devices, want to establish connection to users to drive to own devices.” And the WSJ clarifies, “Mr. Iwata says Nintendo will 'actively' use smart devices to 'make connections with customers.' That is, they’ll use smart devices as a catalyst to encourage customers to use its Nintendo platforms. Short answer, he’s not going to release Nintendo’s titles on other platforms.”

According to Gibson, Nintendo is looking expand the Nintendo Network ID to smart devices, not to make money, but to communicate with users.

According to this summary of the presentation, the Nintendo DS Virtual Console will also come to the Wii U.

However, Nintendo is open to licensing their characters to other partners. This isn’t unprecedented, but may show a stronger push toward that idea; after all, Sega develops the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series, and Link is going to be in an upcoming Dynasty Warriors cross-over game Hyrule Warriors.

Going forward, Nintendo is also going to focus on players’ health and quality of life. The WSJ write, “Nintendo is trying out something completely new: non-wearables to monitor your health.” More details about what non-wearable are will come later in the year.

In response to the announcements, the WSJ writes," The ire of investors may be growing. Nintendo’s stock is now off 4%, worse than a 3.2% fall in the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average."

Written By

Senior Editor, Earthbound fan, and snazzy dresser.

Discussion

815 comments
wunderkindm
wunderkindm

Getting other companies involved in development of their franchises should help as long as Nintendo keeps a hand in it. They get merit from the quality of their franchises but with other companies the speed of new game releases should increase. They just need to maintain the quality their software typically has.

Dieknochenblume
Dieknochenblume

Wait, the DS library? I'm kind of lost here, does that mean we can play 3DS games on the Wii U? or just DS games? I never had those so it would be awesome!

Samuel Welch
Samuel Welch

I've known Nintendo since I was 4, but loved it when I was 6. I know Nintendo can pull themselves together. I have faith in Nintendo.

xolivierx
xolivierx

Once I have played Mario Kart and Zelda, that's it for me. console for sale! Meaning if it's not there in may(Mario Kart), this is farewell Nintendo consoles, and hello emulators

Prince Manu
Prince Manu

the levels in game is awesome.maro kart is the best kart game under the sun.

AlexFili
AlexFili

Hardcore players can get a pro controller at an affordable price. The Gamepad is only mandatory for certain games so there isn't any real reason for complaints. Mario Kart and Smash Brothers are going to be awesome as always

Superzone
Superzone

Wishing Nintendo the best and I will be here to support them.

Peter Younan
Peter Younan

They need to go away from the controllers and go back to the proper controls like the other consoles that's why there sales are down just go back to basics then you will see the difference because the controller s are very tiny

deadpen
deadpen

I remember playing Mario Kart when there wasn't even hills, and I'd go back playing that before this. First you are a kart/4wheeler/motorcycle, then a hand-glider, then a hover thing. WTF how can I enjoy the beautiful detail used in the track if I'm running through like it's a goddamn sonic game. 

asulaeagle
asulaeagle

I'm looking forward to the DS virtual console (I hope this leads to gamecube and previous gen downloadables).

I'm indifferent to the smartphone integration (don't really use phone apps).

Faster system start-up is cool (didn't have an issue to begin with but alright).

Price cut wasn't necessary anyways because a brand new PS3 cost $250.00 and the Wii U is more powerful and has a game pad included. It's also frequently bundled with a game. So its already a great value.

The "quality of life plan" I would need more info on before I give a constructive opinion. The actual slide of the presentation talks about a ten year plan to produce educational games, along with this so called "unwearable device" for health. If this means that they are investing in different departments, that are separate from their main department of hardware and gaming then I'm cool with it as long as it isn't a distraction. It's like Sony having departments in other areas like TV's and electronics.

However, I would have liked more features pertaining to the wii u. I feel that part should have been stronger, especially since this is a pitch to investors but I understand that this was for the company as a whole (which a number of people on this board seem to think this was a presentation for gamers at E3 when its not  meaning, it was for investors not particularly gamers).


AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

I'm a potential WiiU customer if Nintendo would make me an offer I couldn't refuse.


What they propose is simply fiddling at the edges.


I guess we'll see how this year plays out for them. I wonder if they realize they are up against PS4 and XboxOne, both rapidly gaining momentum.

jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

In other words they haven't learned anything., they still believe that games will sell their consoles and are betting everything on the new Mario Kart....

The WiiU will continue failing and Iwata once again proved his incompetence.

blackace
blackace

Investors aren't going to be happy with this at all. No price cut. No buy. I'm not paying $300 for a Wii U. They've gotta get it to at least $250 with a game or two bundled. If they don't do a price cut this year, they are going to be screwed.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I'm relieved to know they have some kind of plan in place for this year, and truth be told it sounds like a good one. At least they're not panicking and making rash decisions like instantly abandoning the Wii U.

silverwings21
silverwings21

"Nintendo will license its characters to other companies (but their franchises are still not coming to non-Nintendo platforms)"


Nintendo vs Capcom

loyalnesgamer88
loyalnesgamer88

I don't see why the Wii U is taking so much slack besides the fact that Nintendo dropped the ball with it's marketing. 


I got into gaming because of Nintendo; I continue to play video games because of Nintendo; and thanks to Nintendo I won't be dropping my habit anytime soon because business aspects aside, they make some fantastic games on a consistent basis.


Have all the "haters" actually played the Wii U? Sure, third party support is important, but let's be serious for a moment, people aren't buying Nintendo consoles to play Madden. It's the first party support which will always be the driving force behind convincing customers to buy their piece of hardware.


I own a Wii U and have bought/played: Ducktales remastered, New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Rayman Legends, Super Luigi U, Super Mario 3D World, Wonderful 101, Windwaker HD, Earthbound and NES Remix.


I don't know how much free time others have, but this is more than enough content to keep me busy for quite awhile and I'm not even going to mention all the 3DS games I own/have yet to play.


With titles such as Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 under-performing, Nintendo has to be careful with what franchises to bring to the Wii U right away because they need "sure bets" to help build their consumer base.


So just sit back, relax and wait to see what Nintendo has up their sleeves in the coming months.


ENGDragon83
ENGDragon83

"Nintendo will license its characters to other companies" This is what Sega do now :( I fear for Ninty

zimbambo
zimbambo

Iphone's Ipads,Andriod Phones and tablets combined have a share of 1.6 Billion worldwide!!!

Yet Nintendo does not want any piece of that market share?CLUELESS!!


zimbambo
zimbambo

Nintendo gonna crash and burn at E3 and get booed off the stage gonna be hilarious!

zimbambo
zimbambo

Iwata a week ago' we made a mistake with the foreign market and Nintendo now much do what ever it needs to fix this'

Iwata a week later' our new business plan is to now release a HEALTH platform in 2016!!WTF!!!


zimbambo
zimbambo

3DS had hit after hit all year in 2013..............The Wii U had crap after crap all year and then Nintendo wonder why the 3DS sold 13 Million in a year and the gimmick U 1.8 Million in a year?

xolivierx
xolivierx

@deadpen  you can't. and that is why I haven't been enjoying the last Mario Kart games. It's a goddam obstacle course. You are constantly receiving blue shells up your rectum. You can't use items properly not to mention stupid items like the squid...lol. baby mario? really? that kills the game. although the video for this one looks amazing, I'm not really expecting much. They should go back to its' roots.

0201693
0201693

@loyalnesgamer88 Well said. Even if content is released slowly , what is released is of high quality and generally will be enjoyed by the gamers who are capable of appreciating them. Nintendo will be fine and continue to improve as more titles are released. It's just the same thing over and over with trolls once Nintendo hardware is out and in its initial few years with less content that somehow it is doomed to failure and will make them go bust.....

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

@zimbambo For your sake I hope they do...because the Hardcore Ninty fanboys are gonna verbally rip you to pieces

yams99
yams99

@zimbamboPlatform doesn't mean new generation. It means a anything from a peripheral, to an add-on, to a console. He said it was something you can take outside the house, so I'm gonna guess it has something to do with that tamagachi thing that was slated for the wii u fitness thing.

crix01
crix01

@zimbambo Seriously, what do you wish to accomplish writing the same stuff over and over again?

yams99
yams99

@zimbamboIt's an identical situation to the game cube and advanced in their first year. They sold buckets of advanced, and gamecube flopped with luigi's masion only.

zimbambo
zimbambo

@PosiTVEMinD355 @zimbambo Why when it is Nintendo that has failed and NO ONE else is to blame!!

I mean seriousl they waited 9 months to release adverts about the Wii U.

PS4 and Xbox One had more adverts on TV in 1 month that Nintendo had in over a year!!

zimbambo
zimbambo

@crix01 @zimbambo It is the TRUTH and you Ninty guzzlers cannot handle it that Nintendo has gone backwards so badly with the gimmick U!!

Wii U is dead and NOTHING will save it yet Nintendo still want to waste money trying to revive a dead console?POINTLESS!!


hochstreck
hochstreck

@zimbambo@PosiTVEMinD355 

This might make you understand how well the PS4 and XBoxOne have to sell in order to redeem their massive marketing costs. 

It also makes you think on how much of their business-model revolves around brainwashing your average gamer.

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

@zimbambo@PosiTVEMinD355 Obviously since Sony and MS are huge companies.  Not to mention MS has billions


Didn't you hear MS pays off people?  Wouldn't be surprised if Sony was doing the same

Smurfville12345
Smurfville12345

@zimbambo Something tells me you are 12 or under, you play too much CoD, and graphics are the only argument you can make about the quality of a game/system.

zimbambo
zimbambo

@PosiTVEMinD355 @zimbambo Yeah Sony in like so much trouble!!!LMFAO!!!

The PS4 has ALREADY won this generation!!!

Wii U is already in last place and will never move!!

Like I said earlier go play with your new Health company!!

HA

zimbambo
zimbambo

@PosiTVEMinD355 @zimbambo Nintendo future...Epic yawn!!!

Now go and cry as you wasted $300 on a 6 year old tech gimmick console!!

$300 for last gen graphics!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

zimbambo
zimbambo

@PosiTVEMinD355 LMFAO Super Mario 3D World FAILED to save the Wii U and for 6 months what you Ninty guzzlers bragged about...'Just wait till Mario arrives...Just wait till Mario arrives....yeah it did and was NOT the huge system seller Nintendo had hoped!!

Now you are all saying..'wait till Mario Kart wait till Smash!!LMFAO!!

Mario is the biggest and that failed big time!!

Going to be hilarious when Mario Kart and Smash do NOTHING!!

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

@zimbambo@PosiTVEMinD355@yams99 Hero Nintendo?  Lol.  No I game on all consoles.  Im a veteran gamer.  I like Nintendo because they give me something different from Sony and MS.


What truth are you stating?  That a console is failing when it hasn't even brought out its best games yet?


Please, if this were the year after and the console still doesn't sell after Smash, X, Bayo2, and Kart.  Then you'd have a point.


Anything else is just your opinions and hatred for a console


Go ahead rant all you want.  No one is getting upset here, we just pity you for thinking Sony "Cares for you".  LMAO.  In the end you're just making an ass of yourself and at the same time Making PS4 gamers look bad.

hochstreck
hochstreck

@zimbambo@crix01 

I actually liked most of the major games released for the Wii-U so far. To me they appear like damn fine and special Videogames - and not like some gimmick.


At the moment and from my perspective, the Wii-U has more, better and more unique games to offer than XBox-One and PS4 combined.

yams99
yams99

@zimbambo@yams99market inflation, duh. The gaming population has grown in ten years.
 It's grown to sadly fit you too.